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SarahBell

Bob Dylan Nobel prize for literature

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I'm a great fan of Bob Dylan, but even I would suggest that he stopped being a genius about 1978 in my opinion, I don't own any of his stuff after that.

Even the woman giving the prize recommended we listen to Blonde on Blonde (1966) a great record (in parts) now 50 years old.

So, I don't know much about this award, can't easily name previous winners, but is it sometimes a showbiz type 'lifetime achievement' rather than a 'let's recognise who is doing the great writing today' (as in 2016)?

 

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14 hours ago, frankief said:

I'm a great fan of Bob Dylan, but even I would suggest that he stopped being a genius about 1978 in my opinion, I don't own any of his stuff after that.

Interesting . . . he said recently in an interview there's some stuff he couldn't write now and it still surprises him, as in 'where did that come from?'

He quoted some lines from, 'It's alright, ma' . . . the bit about the hand-made blade, the child's balloon, eclipsing both the sun and moon.

:unsure:

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I don't think he should have been awarded it - plenty of music industry awards available to him, he's not a writer of literature, so should not have won a literature prize. But really, I don't care in the slightest, it's all just inconsequential nonsense. 

When I was in my teens and early 20s I used to hate his nasal whiny voice, and laugh openly at people who said he was great. But in my early 30s I actually found that I began to appreciate his work, and even come to love his vocals. I think he's great, but agree that his best work was in the 60s/70s. I don't own anything after Blood on the Tracks.

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3 hours ago, copydude said:

Interesting . . . he said recently in an interview there's some stuff he couldn't write now and it still surprises him, as in 'where did that come from?'

He quoted some lines from, 'It's alright, ma' . . . the bit about the hand-made blade, the child's balloon, eclipsing both the sun and moon.

:unsure:

There was a lot of drug experimentation in the sixties so the lyrics might reflect that!

It was called 'stream of conciousness' - writing your abstract thoughts down unedited.  I think Lennon has some examples of that.

Is that poetry/ literature? Well the lyrics worked when added to the music, sometimes not on the page.

Anyway we have our own bard who we should all lobby for next year's vote - the great John Cooper Clarke. :)

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I don't necessarily agree.

He developed musically and explored many different genres . . . rock, gospel, country, whatever.

He was always finding new ways to interpret an old song . . . his or someone else's.  He hardly ever performed a song the same way twice. There's a nice quote from Keith Richards: 'I played a song with Bob Dylan once. I'm still trying to work out which one it was.'

Musically, you can't compare the early folk stuff with his later work . . . whether with Knopfler, Barry Beckett, Ry Cooder, Daniel Lanois or The Traveling Wilburys. It's all totally different. You can only prefer what you prefer.

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Leonard Cohen was robbed ( and not just by his manager).

Bob Dylan is a great song writer but he is no poet.

I mean if you read the lyrics of the Ballad of Judas Priest and Frankie Lee without music then frankly they are a bit naff and sound like some of the rhymes that Black Sabbath used to knock up .

For example

“Oh, yes, he is my friend”
Said Frankie Lee in fright
“I do recall him very well
In fact, he just left my sight”
“Yes, that’s the one,” said the stranger
As quiet as a mouse
“Well, my message is, he’s down the road
Stranded in a house”

That is on a  par with such Sabbath Classics  as

Heavy boots of lead
fills his victims full of dread

 

 

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4 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

Leonard Cohen was robbed ( and not just by his manager).

Bob Dylan is a great song writer but he is no poet.

I beg to differ.

 

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon, there is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you'd just be one more person crying

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all, except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred

Our preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the President of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An' all the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on all around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it that you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Do what they do just to be
Nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize and say, "God bless him"

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he's in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False goals, I scuff at pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say, "Okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?"

And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only

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Didn't Leonard Cohen do rather well? I think he's pretty high up on the 'most recorded songs of songwriters charts.

I wouldn"t believe it for a moment if he's crying poverty.

Willie Nelson wrote three songs in the 1950s . . . Crazy, Hello Walls, something else which escapes for a moment . . .  he's been a millionaire every year since.

There are a lot of good songwriters today . . . song lyrics are the modern poetry . .  the best words in the best order.  I think it's fair to call it literature.

Maybe you think some people . . . Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell or whoever are more worthy of a Nobel Prize. But it is also fair to say that Dylan kicked off the whole thing. 

 

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21 hours ago, hotairmail said:

 

The first album I ever owned was 'Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits', given to me along with Bob and Marcia's. That must have been about 1970.

I agree with all said about his voice and when he stopped being good. It was probably in the 1960's. His voice most of the time I can't stand, but sometimes I think it's great. Both dependent on the song and the time.

Regarding his early work, it is hard to conceive how really old that is when you sort of think he is on the right side of the modern world appearing.

I think these images are early to mid 60's (Churchill's funeral is oin there and that was 1965 I think). It looks proper old.

The song itself was written in 1962.

 

 

I think that is a very perceptive post.

That clip shows Dylan at his best and also highlights his roots in the American Folk tradition.

If you listen to the Smithsonian Folkways Albums you will get some idea of where Dylan was coming from.

In some ways he is a voice from a different age

Maybe those people who thought he sold out when he went electric in the mid sixties had a point

 

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48 minutes ago, copydude said:

Didn't Leonard Cohen do rather well? I think he's pretty high up on the 'most recorded songs of songwriters charts.

I wouldn"t believe it for a moment if he's crying poverty.

Willie Nelson wrote three songs in the 1950s . . . Crazy, Hello Walls, something else which escapes for a moment . . .  he's been a millionaire every year since.

There are a lot of good songwriters today . . . song lyrics are the modern poetry . .  the best words in the best order.  I think it's fair to call it literature.

Maybe you think some people . . . Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell or whoever are more worthy of a Nobel Prize. But it is also fair to say that Dylan kicked off the whole thing. 

 

Well Cohens manager had it away with about $ 9.5 million dollars which I suspect makes a dent in the bank account of even the best singer songwriters

I agree with the rest.

I confess to owning a few Dylan albums.

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Bob should remember that electric guitars are cool!

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